After admission to doctoral studies
Welcome to our doctoral community! All new doctoral students take part in the Aalto Doctoral Orientation Days at the start of the studies. Make sure to handle all the practicalities too - we are here to help you!
All doctoral students have a student status at Aalto, but many of you also have a work contract. Do note that application to doctoral programme and study right is a different process from the recruitment to a doctoral researcher's paid work contract. If you are unsure of your status, please contact the Doctoral education services.
Before you can begin your doctoral education, you need to officially accept the offered study place in your doctoral programme. Follow the instructions given by your doctoral programme for accepting the study place. Usually new doctoral students are enrolled as attending for the first academic year, or the current academic term, depending on when your study right has been established. The academic terms run from 1 August to 31 December and 1 January to 31 July. Academic year comprises them both (i.e. autumn term and spring term).
If moving to Finland from elsewhere, take special care to bring the original degree certificate of your previous degree or officially certified copies with you, if your doctoral programme requests you to do that in order to complete the approval process. Check the requirements from your Doctoral Programme's application instructions.
If you need a residence permit, please see
Migri's instructions for researcher's residence permit (migri's)You will need a hosting agreement from Aalto University for applying for the researcher's residence permit. If you are employed by Aalto, you will get the hosting agreement from your School's HR services.
Searching for accommodation
If you are searching for accommodation, remember that before you accept any offers, it is important to check the distance between your accommodation and the campus. Helsinki Metropolitan Area covers a large area, and you do not want to spend all your time traveling between your home and the university.
Use the HSL’s (Helsinki Region Transport) journey planner: to check where possible housing is located and how far it is from the campus.
Also check out the campus maps with addresses for the buildings.
Please check the links below for information and guidance about finding accommodation in Finland.
Useful information about coming to and living in Finland
Note that the formalities related to your relocation to Finland are your responsibility, so unfortunately the doctoral programme is not able to assist with that, but do check out these links for helpful information:
- Working in Finland (migri.fi)
- Applying for a residence permit (migri.fi)
- Aalto HR's information for incoming international staff (aalto.fi)
- Moving to Finland for international staff (aalto.fi): Finnish health care system, opening a bank account, taxation, etc.
- Aalto onboarding to new employees (aalto.fi)
Finland Studies MOOC
In this course, we will look at how to navigate Finnish university life. Once you have finished the course, you will have a better understanding of what studying at a Finnish university is like. The course is an open online course, everyone interested in university studies in Finland is free to take the course.
You will need your Aalto user ID to login to all Aalto online services, including your Aalto email. It is important to check your email regularly, as your Aalto email is the primary contact used by the university for official notices or in case we need to contact your regarding your studies or possible employment matters.
If you are not employed by Aalto and want to use some other email address, you can redirect the email from your @aalto.fi address to the email address you use regularly; instructions for the redirection.
Your user ID is an individual combination of characters (usually letters) and you will receive it with the activation. Aalto email is usually in the format [email protected].
Activating the user ID
You will receive an invitation email when your digital identity is created. You need to active your digital identity to get the user ID and password. The email will be sent to the email address you have used when you applied to the university. Also the mobile phone number you gave when you applied to the university is needed for the activation. Note that it is not possible to activate your user ID before the official start date of your study right and you have access to email and other Aalto IT resources only after the activation.
If you have Finnish online banking details, Finnish mobile certificate or Finnish electronic ID (HST) card, you can also follow the instructions of IT services to activate your user ID.
If you don't have the above mentioned means for strong identification, wait for the activation email. The activation uses the email and the phone number you used when you applied.
If self-activation is not possible, you must visit the IT service desk to activate your user ID. Please remember to bring an official ID with you (such as passport).
Other useful IT links
This cannot be repeated too much, so even though your enrolment is taken care of for the first year or term (your doctoral programme will tell you about this in the admission letter), we want to emphasize the importance of remembering to enrol every academic year, otherwise you are not able to study or graduate with your degree.
All doctoral students must enrol to the university every academic year as either attending or non-attending until they graduate as doctor. The enrolment period for the coming academic year starts always in early May and ends in early September. Enrolment is done in the national OILI-enrolment service. If you forget to enrol, you will lose your right to study, you have to apply for readmission (subject to re-enrollment fee). Re-admission application is available at Doctoral student forms (aalto.fi)
In Sisu you can
- make your Sisu credit plan and register for courses
- change your contact information and view your personal details
- give permission to disclose your information e.g. for surveys, recruitment or alumni network
- order a transcript of records or a certificate of student status.
Sisu also includes important course information, such as the content, timetable, and teaching location for each course. The university uses the contact details you have provided in Sisu for all communication, and therefore it is important that you keep them up to date at all times.
MyCourses is a moodle-based home of all the courses at Aalto. Each course has a home page in MyCourses, which the teacher of the course can use to give further details on the course (in addition to the basic course description found in Sisu), collect assignments, organise interactive lessons, hold Zoom sessions etc. You will get access to all the course materials in MyCourses after you have registered for the course in Sisu and have been been accepted to it.
MyStudies is a digital portal for students. Your doctoral personal study plan (DPSP) is stored in MyStudies. It is accessible for you, your supervising professor, your thesis advisor(s) (except for external advisors) and Doctoral education services. You are also able check from MyStudies who has been appointed as your supervising professor, thesis advisor(s) and who are your contact persons at Doctoral education services. You can also use MyStudies to book appointments with them.
ACRIS (Aalto Current Research Information System) contains up-to-date information on all the research and artistic activities at Aalto University. As an attending doctoral student, you will automatically have a researcher profile in ACRIS. Your profile will be publicly available through research.aalto.fi portal.
For help, please contact [email protected]
Turnitin is a tool for enhancing skillful writing and preventing plagiarism. You can check your texts against comparison databases for similarity and getting a similarity report.
You can download an official transcript of records and a certificate of student status from Sisu. If you need the transcript or certificate stamped, you can get it from the Student Services Starting Point.
In case you need a statement / certificate regarding something that is not mentioned on the certificate of student status, please contact your doctoral programme's Doctoral Education Services.
Aalto University's campus is in Otaniemi, Espoo, which is located in the Helsinki capital region. Check out Otaniemi Campus and what is available here.
How to get access rights and access token for campus premisesVirtual tour of Aalto University Otaniemi campusAalto is active in the development of a sustainable campus area. You can also make an impact in your own environment by the choices you make.
Aalto Doctoral Orientation Days are organised three times a year. You can find all the Orientation materials in MyCourses, even after the Orientation. New students are invited to the next orientation personally by email, but you are always welcome to attend the orientation again in case you missed something or want to recap things. Orientation is also an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow students!
In addition to the common orientation, each School also organises different types of introductory events or courses.
ARTS: ARTS-L0100 Introduction to Doctoral Studies, 1-2 ECTS, once a year at the beginning of the academic year (link to Sisu)
BIZ: Welcome event, once a year at the beginning of the academic year
CHEM: CHEM-L1000 Toolkit for Doctoral Studies, 5 ECTS, once a year in the winter (link to Sisu)
ELEC: ELEC-L0902 Introduction to Doctoral Studies, 2-3 ECTS, twice a year at the beginning of each term. Link to more information.
ENG: ENG-LV A!ENG Research Lab, 3 ECTS, once a year in April-May (link to Sisu)
SCI: Welcome event in connection with the Aalto Doctoral Orientation Days, three times a year
For Computer Science doctoral students: CS-L9000 Introduction to doctoral studies in computer science, 3 ECTS, more information on the MyCourses page of the course (mycourses.aalto.fi)
Doctoral education services uses to the term doctoral student, but the students may also use the title doctoral researcher, which is the title used on the work contract of doctoral students employed by Aalto University.
Welcome to Aalto University!
Essential information for students in the beginning of their doctoral studies & research
Petri Suomala welcomes new students to the Aalto community, whose strengths include collaboration between people of diverse backgrounds and fields of study.